The King is Dead
So much could be said. I hope today you will reflect on the cross of Christ.
I would perhaps recommend you reread today’s passage as a lectio divina, a divine reading. It’s a way of meditating and praying on the passage that comes from the early centuries of the church and survived throughout the middle ages until today. There is so much here, you could even take a few, or perhaps even just one verse and meditate on that.
To read the text in this way, read through it once again. As you do, stop and run over every word. Then pause and meditate on the meaning on the words. Think about the sounds they make, the way it feels in your mouth or in your head. If it helps, continue your meditation by trying to get an image in your head. Perhaps it is of you, perhaps of Christ. Lastly, pray your thoughts and the text back to God. Between each step, pause, breath, refocus yourself, and move on.
In the text there is so much. A stranger forced into the horrors of the day. Jesus’ refusal to give the sign people requested because the true God of love would not and could not come off the cross. The charge against him over his head. The sun being blotted out signalling that this was an end-of-the-world type event. The temple curtain torn in two, removing any and all barriers between us and God. The declaration of the centurion that this was the Son of God, and indication of both his divinity and his superiority over Caesar. Meditate on it. Reread it. Do it several times if you need to do so. Don’t rush past the crucifixion to get to the end.
Lastly, notice the women. There is no mention of any other follower, disciple, or other faithful member of Jesus’ group. Only the women. Surely that says something.
Holy God, thank you for your incarnation and death. We pray we not rush past it. We pray that we maintain our focus on you and your being. Amen.